PC Harper's widow 'pleased' after meeting Priti Patel for new campaign

2 September 2020, 14:39 | Updated: 2 September 2020, 19:08

Lissie Harper met with Priti Patel at the Home Office on Wednesday
Lissie Harper met with Priti Patel at the Home Office on Wednesday. Picture: PA
Rachael Kennedy

By Rachael Kennedy

The widow of PC Andrew Harper said she is "pleased" after a meeting with Home Secretary Priti Patel and Justice Secretary Robert Buckland to gather support for Harper's Law.

Lissie Harper said both secretaries of state had "listened well" as they "promised to work with us and support us" in the campaign to see stricter punishments for those who kill emergency service workers.

The 29-year-old said: "We know this won't happen overnight and now wait for the next steps.

READ MORE: Sentences of three teens jailed over PC Harper killing to be reviewed

"We need change. I will not allow this to be kicked into the long grass. We need to properly protect our protecters.

"And I promise I won't be shying away from the limelight to keep the pressure on those in power to make this happen."

READ MORE: Barrister explains sentencing of PC Andrew Harper's killers

Andrew and Lissie had been married just weeks before the incident happened
Andrew and Lissie had been married just weeks before the incident happened. Picture: PA

Mrs Harper launched the movement to legislate a namesake law as a "fitting legacy" to her late police officer husband Andrew, who was killed in August last year while attending a call-out about a burglary in Sulhamstead, Berkshire.

The newlywed had been dragged to his death after getting his leg caught in a tow strap attached to a getaway car.

READ MORE: PC Andrew Harper's widow criticises £465,000 spent on defending his killers

The proposed law, Mrs Harper said, would therefore seek to give life sentences to people who kill emergency service workers during a criminal act, regardless of whether or not they intended the death to happen.

"The people of Britain are tired of witnessing the leniency of our courts against the evil in our society," she said after meeting the cabinet ministers on Wednesday.

"The support that we continue to receive from hundreds of thousands of people just highlights the disapproval and outrage over these injustices we all are made to accept."

READ MORE: Solicitor says killers of PC Andrew Harper should not 'have their spirits broken' by sentences

Lissie (third left) met with Robert Buckland (left), Priti Patel (second left) and Sgt Andy Fiddler (right)
Lissie (third left) met with Robert Buckland (left), Priti Patel (second left) and Sgt Andy Fiddler (right). Picture: PA

PC Harper's three killers, 18-year-olds Albert Bowers and Jessie Cole, and 19-year-old Henry Long, are currently in jail serving sentences for manslaughter.

Bowers and Cole are serving 13 years each - and have lodged application to appeal the decision.

Long, the getaway driver, has been given a 16-year sentence.

READ MORE: Father of PC Harper backs life imprisonment for killers of emergency workers

From left to right: Henry Long, Jessie Cole and Albert Bowers are all serving manslaughter sentences
From left to right: Henry Long, Jessie Cole and Albert Bowers are all serving manslaughter sentences. Picture: PA

Referring back to her meeting at the Home Office, Mrs Harper said it had marked "a great accomplishment" for her campaign.

"But this is not the end of the road," she said, adding: "This is the start of the journey to achieving Harper's Law.

"I will keep going. I will continue to channel my grief to campaign for Harper's Law."

READ MORE: PC Andrew Harper would be proud of law change campaign, his widow says

In a joint statement after the meeting Ms Patel and Mr Buckland said: "PC Andrew Harper was a hero whose loss has been felt across the country - but mostly by his wife, family and friends.

"We were pleased to sit down with Lissie today. She is extraordinarily courageous and her dedication to honouring her husband's memory is commendable."

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